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The new season 2013

By David Howard

The new season officially kicked off two weeks ago, with the clocks going forward, allowing my freedom to go wherever I wanted given the opportunity before it got dark. The first was a shortish run to the Sussex border as there was a gap without any red squares it was easy to fill in, and a week later finally got to Cuckfield to get this wonderful pair of signs only found because of Dave Spicer.
TQ3024 : Pre-Worboys direction signs, Cuckfield High Street by David Howard

I have a list of trips for 2013 now, that was the first, mainly as old signs are not guaranteed to be there so take priority over all others, and there's another trip to find a recent arrival here in Braintree with another on the way sooner or later. Since then it's just been gap filling locally, but had my first request to come on a photo trip with me on Thursday, and filled in some of the space between the A5 and A1000 between St Albans and Hatfield.

TL2204 : The village green and war memorial, North Mymms by David Howard TL2007 : Great Nast Hyde House, Wilkin's Green by David Howard TL2204 : Routemaster buses in garage in Water End by David Howard

Yesterday I bent a regular journey around the North Circular in Ealing to bag a few extra squares

TQ1679 : Elthorne Avenue, Hanwell by David Howard TQ1777 : Shops near Brentford station by David Howard TQ1778 : Offices behind the M4 flyover, Brentford by David Howard

showing it's not always necessary to stick to the pretty stuff as even the most miserable places mean something to someone. I then realised I was well over half way to another hectad TQ17, which would be my 6th, so added that to the list, and as I only had a limited time today used it to kick off by mopping up about five in Feltham, including the first off road square, which luckily began before I had to go any further along this path.

TQ1170 : Bridleway leading to Kempton Park by David Howard This was one of the best views TQ1172 : Elmwood Avenue overlooking Hanworth Park by David Howard of Hanworth Park, and you can never go wrong with a good flyover. TQ1272 : Hampton Road East at the A316 roundabout by David Howard

So journeys short or long are now all possible most days for six months or so, and of course the more you do the less you can do as the remaining trips become further and harder, but I have my 2013 quota and will be very happy just getting the major ones done. I have collected all my life, and seeing my exact travels on a map is irresistible to someone who grew up reading maps for pleasure, visiting some of the places which looked interesting (from the Hebrides in 1969 to America in 1980) mainly thanks to my grandparents, then used train tickets from 1970 till they were mainly abolished in 1988, with a few remaining to the 90s. Had digital photography and the internet been around even a decade earlier I'd have covered the south coast from Studland to Dover and Canterbury (I have random photos mainly of stations as I started taking them when they didn't have the old tickets) and north to Manchester and Blackpool, oddly I never took the camera on my many visits there. And a four day holiday to the Cotswolds when I drove to Stratford on Avon, Bath, Oxford and Wooton Wawen in as many days, and do have photos albeit a bit dodgy at times when the light got in the back of the very good camera.

I have so far revisited the Cotswolds on digital as I only include digital photos here (begun in November 2005) for new squares, and then add the archives when I've got one already. The south coast is easy enough to get to so done a couple there so far with one or two to go, while east Kent is now verboten since all the London bridges are out of commission bar Tower Bridge (which I can't imagine the state as most people have to bypass the centre to cross the river on weekdays) and haven't felt like suffering the journey to the Blackwall Tunnel alternative for a while. I've collected many old signs at the weekend across London but have been limited by restricting the possible days I could go further in that direction. Part of the reason other trips have reduced is the vast rise in the cost of petrol, meaning when my old Proton gave up the ghost I had to buy a runabout which saved me about 20% of the cost, which does add up. Now when on the flat it starts slowing down around 60mph and really doesn't want to go much faster, and wasn't really designed for motorways like the last ones. This means they are used as the exception rather than the rule so can't get as far using the back doubles.

But whatever will be will be, and will be quite happy just extending my scope here at all rather than aiming too high and being disappointed when I don't manage it. If I ever get a flight somewhere on the map though that'll cover them all!

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Marker only shows grid square

Mon, 15 Apr 2013 at 01:27
Grid Square
geotagged! TQ1623
Chosen Photo

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